National Records of Scotland

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Bonar Law (1858-1923)

Bonar Law (1858-1923)

Prime Minister, 1922-1923

Andrew Bonar Law was born in Canada. He moved to Scotland with his aunt, Janet Kidston, in 1870 to enable her family to oversee his education. In 1883 he joined William Jacks and Co, iron merchants and alongside his successful business career was a member of essay and debating societies, played golf and chess, and founded a tennis club. In 1900 he was elected MP for one of the Glasgow constituencies and in 1911 succeeded Arthur James Balfour as leader of the Conservative Party. During the First World War he was a member of the war committee and from 1916 Chancellor of the Exchequer in Lloyd George's cabinet. This was also a time of great personal loss as two of his sons were killed in action. In 1922, following the collapse of the coalition government he was appointed Prime Minister. His party won the general election but he was forced to resign on health grounds in May 1923. He died at his home in London on 30 October that year. His funeral was held at Westminster Abbey.

1881 census

In 1881, Andrew B Law, 22, iron merchant's clerk was enumerated at 2 Oakvale House in Hillhead with his sisters, Mary and Janet. The census record for the Glasgow district of Partick shows that all three had been born in Canada. The household also included a domestic servant.

1881 census record for Bonar Law

1881 census record for Bonar Law (18 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1881/646-2/29, page 40

Marriage in 1891

A B Law, iron merchant, married Annie P Robley on 24 March 1891 according to the forms of the Free Church of Scotland. Bonar Law was 32 and living at Seabank in Helensburgh. The entry in the statutory register for Row in the county of Dunbarton provides information about his parents - James Law, clergyman and Eliza Annie Kidston - who were both deceased at the time of the marriage.

Marriage entry for Bonar Law

Marriage entry for Bonar Law (42 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1891/503/11

1901 census

In 1901, Andrew Bonar Law, 42, was enumerated at 18 Stafford Street in Helensburgh with his wife, children, four nurses and three servants. The census record for the district of Row or Rhu gives his occupation as iron merchant and shows he was an employer.

1901 census record for Bonar Law

1901 census record for Bonar Law (54 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1891/503/10, page 14